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  1. Ferdie11's Avatar
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    #1

    conjunction after the comma ","

    Why is it that there is no conjunction after the comma "," in the sentence below?

    Edgar was huddled next to his spaceship, Rosenberg's jewelry box on his lap.

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: conjunction after the comma ","

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferdie11 View Post
    Why is it that there is no conjunction after the comma "," in the sentence below?

    Edgar was huddled next to his spaceship, Rosenberg's jewelry box on his lap.

    Thanks.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, Ferdie.

    (1) You have asked an EXTREMELY interesting question.

    (2) I checked my books and would like to tell you what I found:

    (a) This kind of sentence is formal. Native speakers do

    not speak like this. This kind of sentence is for writing.

    (b) I believe that "Rosenberg's jewelry box on his lap" is called an absolute

    clause. That is, as you said, there is no conjunction. So it is not technically

    attached to "Edgar was huddled next to his spaceship."

    (c) Many books feel that there is an "invisible" verb:

    Roseberg's jewelry box (was) on his lap.

    (d) Finally, I found a similar example in Professor Quirk's authoritative

    book:

    (i) Mavis sat in the front seat, her hands in her lap.

    (a) Professor Quirk says there are two interpretations:

    Mavis sat in the front seat, her hands (were) in her lap.

    Mavis sat in the front seat, having her hands in her lap.

    (3) In summary:

    (a) Yes, there is no conjunction.

    (b) This is very formal English used in writing.

    (c) It is 100% perfect English.

    (d) Never speak this way, or people may think you are strange.

    (e) In conversation, I guess ( this is only my opinion) you would

    have to say something like:

    Edgar was huddled next to his spaceship, (and) Rosenberg's jewelry box

    (was) on his lap./ While Edgar was huddled next to his spaceship,

    he had Rosenberg's jewelry box on his lap.

    (i) As you can see, your original sentence is more interesting,

    dramatic, and tighter.

    (4) Hopefully, other people will comment so that you and I can learn

    more about this very useful kind of sentence.

    Have a nice day!

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